Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre to Advance Education, Culture, and Conservation Efforts in Clayoquot Sound 

Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre Clayoquot Biosphere Trust

Tofino, British Columbia, May 16, 2024 — The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) is thrilled to announce a major milestone in the development of the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre. The Centre has received a significant investment of over $7.17 million from the Federal Government’s Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program. This net-zero facility has been a longstanding vision of the CBT and local partners for several decades. This announcement represents a significant step towards achieving this dedicated space, which will advance sustainable development, youth empowerment, biodiversity conservation, and community resilience.   

The Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre is situated within one of Canada’s 19 UNESCO biosphere regions, renowned for its ecological richness and cultural heritage. Spanning 9,400 square feet, the Centre will meet zero carbon building design standards and embody a holistic approach to sustainability using the Living Building Challenge framework.  

The Biosphere Centre will provide Tofino, Ucluelet, ƛaʔuukʷiʔatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation), ʕaaḥuusʔatḥ (Ahousaht), hiškʷiiʔatḥ (Hesquiaht First Nation), Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government (Ucluelet First Nation), and tukʷaaʔatḥ (Toquaht Nation) with a shared space, fostering community health and well-being, reconciliation, education and research, cultural understanding, sustainability, and economic development. A regional hub for interdisciplinary collaboration and traditional knowledge, the new building will include accessible spaces for learning, a teaching kitchen, an Elder’s room, a UNESCO visitors centre, archives, as well as space for the CBT and partner organizations to host programs and events that achieve our shared vision. 

The Centre will offer immersive indoor and outdoor learning experiences tailored to diverse audiences. Visitors and residents alike will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the biosphere region’s ecological and cultural significance, enjoy innovative programming, and engage in opportunities including culinary training aimed at strengthening local food security.  

The Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre is anticipated to cost $15 million, of which $9.9 million has been secured to date through grants and philanthropic giving. CBT’s capital campaign to complete the project continues. To learn more or to donate, contact Michelle Hall at or visit

“The construction of the Biosphere Centre represents a significant milestone in our collective journey towards equity and reconciliation. Through meaningful engagement and thoughtful design, we are creating a space that reflects the diverse voices and aspirations of our communities.”Rebecca Hurwitz, Executive Director, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust  

“As Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, we're deeply grateful for the Federal Government’s investment in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre. This milestone embodies our commitment to reconciliation and cultural preservation. Situated in our ancestral territory, the Centre will foster healing and promote understanding of our region's cultural significance, ensuring a lasting legacy for youth and future generations.” Lorena Frank, CBT Director and Biosphere Centre Development Committee member appointed by ƛaʔuukʷiʔatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation) 

“We are profoundly grateful for the grant funding from Infrastructure Canada through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program. With this support, we can realize our Biosphere Centre vision - a safe and inclusive community space to deliver education and research programs, support economic development, practice sustainable tourism, and drive social innovation. Built with sustainability at the forefront, we look forward to demonstrating green building technology locally and inspiring innovation among UNESCO biosphere regions globally through this transformational project.” Naomi Mack, CBT Co-chair for tukʷaaʔatḥ (Toquaht First Nations) and Nicky Ling, CBT Co-chair for ACRD Area C 

“A tribute to all those who have worked so diligently with the CBT, First Nations and local and regional governments, over many years to strengthen community resilience and promote conservation through public education. May this wonderful facility inspire generations to come and contribute to the health of our planet." Gord Johns, Member of Parliament for Courtenay-Alberni 

“The Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre will be a valuable asset to Tofino and area in terms of reconciliation, cultural understanding, economic development, and environmental conservation. The Biosphere Centre will facilitate important programming, dialogue, and learning opportunities for local Nuu-chah-nulth peoples and other communities in the region, as well as for visitors. We will continue to invest in a brighter future for Canadians by supporting projects that encourage collaboration, innovation, and the adoption of more sustainable practices.” Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities 

“The Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre is a climate-smart, mass timber building that promotes sustainable economic development and ecological preservation. It is a remarkable project from B.C.’s Mass Timber Demonstration Program—a community and research hub inspired by historic First Nation architecture that encapsulates UNESCO’s goals of promoting education, science and culture. Clayoquot Sound is one of the most beautiful and unique ecosystems in the world and soon it will have an incredible centre that assists in making people, and the ecosystem, thrive.” Brenda Bailey, British Columbia’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation 

About the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust 

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) is a registered charity based on the west coast of British Columbia. Established in 2000, the CBT is the only organization in Canada that is both a community foundation and a UNESCO biosphere region. We pair the spirit of community with the power of a global presence to bring more people together for a shared understanding. Our team works to strengthen the development of all citizens, communities, and the ecosystems on which we all depend, for a future we can all be proud of. To find out more visit   

For media inquiries or further information, please contact: 

Michelle Hall 
Campaign and Donor Relations Lead 
Clayoquot Biosphere Trust 
Cell: +1 250 522 0142 

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n early June 2024, two members of the CBT team, Colin Robinson and Janessa Dornstauder had the opportunity to attend EuroMAB 2024 in the Elbe River Landscape, Germany – a UNESCO Biosphere. Because there are so few countries in North America, Canada, and the USA participate in the European network, while Mexico participates in the Latin network. Read more about their experience! 

Marcie Callewaert Reflects on her Leadership Journey

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“Participating in LVI gave me back my leadership confidence that I had lost somewhere along the way. It was a great reminder of what I am capable of and provided me with tools to strengthen my skills as I move forward in new roles. Because of LVI, I took chances that I never would have taken just a few years ago and they paid off! I am so thankful for the community of support that LVI creates during the program and in the months and years afterwards."

Share the Fare: Elevating Sustainability for the Biosphere Centre

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Join us for our Annual Biosphere Region BioBlitz!

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On Saturday, April 20th, participate from anywhere within the biosphere region to celebrate the upcoming Earth Day! It’s an excellent opportunity to step outdoors and learn about the amazing biodiversity in the area.

Pani's Journey : From receiving CBT's Education Award to Pursuing Medicine at UBC

March 8, 2024
Pani Ayoubizadeh from Ucluelet received the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Education award in 2022 and is currently studying science at the University of British Columbia to become a cardiac surgeon. She has recently gotten in touch to share an update on her academic journey as well as her personal growth since receiving the award.

Grant Writing Workshop

January 26, 2024
Join this half-day workshop hosted in partnership with the West Coast N.E.S.T. (CBT's regional education tourism initiative) to learn effective grant writing and fundraising strategies.

Good News for the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre Project!

January 17, 2024
In a remarkable display of commitment to community and environmental stewardship, the Wickaninnish Inn has pledged an astounding $150,000 over the course of five years to support the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre. In a generous gesture, they have already contributed $40,000 as their inaugural installment.

Announcing the fall 2023 Culture Neighbourhood Small Grants!

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We are excited to share this list of grass-roots community projects that received Culture Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) this past fall cycle. This has been our most successful cycle to date, with a total of 33 projects in the region, 15 projects for Clayoquot Sound NGS and 18 for Ahousaht NSG!

Holiday Giving Unites Communities

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Truth, Honour & the Way Forward

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CBT's Youth Intern, Reflects on her Beach Cleanup Experience

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Join our team as Administrative Assistant

August 18, 2023
PLEASE NOTE: Applications are now closed for this position.  The Administrative Assistant will support the CBT across all program areas. The successful candidate will coordinate the day-to-day administration and operations of the CBT office, creating a welcoming space, updating administrative practices, and maintaining records. They will work closely with the Executive Director to support the Board of Directors, as well as work closely with the Finance Coordinator to assist with bookkeeping processes. The Administrative Assistant will work across the CBT to support our programs and events.